Tag Archives: fun with language

One Sill A Bull: A Word Game

Thanks to CharNewcomb for the use of this photo @WANA Commons

Y’all know I love playing around with words, right?

Well.

I found this old writing prompt that I used to use when I was teaching English as a second language to 3rd graders.

It sounds easy, but it’s not as easy as you think.

Write the longest sentence you can in which each word is only one syllable.

For example:

He put his hand on his belt and said, “The lush, green berm on the side of the road would be a good place to take a leak — if I have to go real bad.”

See how long you can go.

If you know what I mean.

The person who goes the longest and creates something that is stunningly beautiful or hilariously funny is gonna get a special sumthin-sumthin from me. Go! I will accept comments until the end of the day, at which time I will start counting words.

tweet me @rasjacobson

Entrants may not use one single word repeatedly. Now that we have caught THAT little loophole, folks may continue. Thank you for making me laugh, Susie Lindau.

The winner of the contest is on thehomefrontandbeyond.Holy mad skills! Send me your snail mail address, and your sumthin-sumthin will be put in the mail immediately!

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What the Deuce is Fongutter?

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

Today we continue with Made-It-Up Mondays where I throw out a 100% made-up word and ask you to:

  • define the word
  • provide its part of speech, and
  • use the word in a sentence that indicates how the word could be used.

Why? Because a friend gave me the book The Meaning of Tingo: And Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World which is filled with fascinating words which don’t have any equivilent in the English language.

For example:

“Yuputka” is the Ulwa word for the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin while walking in the woods at night.

I’m sorry, but that describes the experience way better than goosebumps!

When I can’t find the right word on the word-shelf to fit my mood or predicament, I often make one up.

The last time we did this the word was “ebenscraw,” and Shawnadee guessed:

Ebenscraw …[is] associated with irritation or frustration; … when a person has an irritated reaction that he or she has got something in his or her ebenscraw. This has since been shortened in modern vernacular to “craw”.

Okay, that is damn close.

I have a friend named Rachel. And once I was on the phone with her and her infant son was fussing. She said, “I wonder what is stuck in Eben’s craw?” Now if my son (or frankly, anyone) is being cranky, I’ll just kind of toss it out there.

As if it is a real word.

I’ll say something like, “Wow, that’s enough ebenscraw for one day, doncha think?”

It’s amazing how a good imaginary word can quiet people right down.

Gotta love those imaginary words. So kudos to Shawnadee.

So it is time to continue with the fun today.

Remember, the first person to use the word the way I do shall receive cyber-love. And by that, I mean I will announce your identity in the next Made-It-Up Monday post. If you are a blogger, I will link up to your blog, so folks can head over and check out your stuff.

If you are not a blogger, don’t worry. I will highlight your name in bold (like I did for Shawnadee) and let everyone know how smart you are. If you are looking for a new job, you can put “uncanny ability to define 100% bogus words” on your resumé and direct prospective employers here. I will totally back you up.

Continuing alphabetically, this week, the made up word is:

FONGUTTER

What the heck is that? When would you say it? Define it and give me a sentence in which you show me how you would use it.

You know, if it were a real word. 😉

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